Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100 (BDP2100) Youth Action Track (YAT) is a program designed by Wageningen University (Netherlands) and the International Center for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD), funded by the Netherlands, to link Bangladeshi young professionals to the BDP2100. Youth were connected to professionals and practitioners working on BDP2100 through dialogue and seminars, and were stimulated to contribute their suggestions and questions related to BDP2100, on agriculture, as well as urban, river and coastal topics.
The four month long YAT program kicked off in October 2021, after which youth received training sessions that included multiple assignments and group work activities. Participants not only enhanced their understanding of BDP2100 but were also trained to present and link BDP2100 to their own ideas and work. YAT representatives successfully participated at Gobeshona International Conference 2022 on 28th March to share their experience. At the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100 International Conference, the YAT took part in the Youth Panel on May 26, 2022 along with experts about their ideas in relation to BDP2100 and discussed how the youth can be more involved. Also, YAT were selected to speak at the regional Asian Youth Adaptation Forum from the Global Center of Adaptation (GCA) on May 31, 2022, hosted in collaboration with ICCCAD.
Side-event of Youth Panel Dialogue at BDP2100 International Conference
The Youth got the opportunity to share their ideas, questions and proposals to policymakers at Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100 International Conference. There were a number of responses and solutions, which were found through the dialogue session.
Here are some of the participants speaking about their experience: –
Prantor Kumar Mondal
The Bangladesh Delta Plan (BDP) 2100 is a long-term vision of the likely changes and interventions required to make the Bangladesh Delta safe by the end of the twenty-first century. I am extremely interested in working in the field of urban green infrastructure development. We require sustainable urban gardening as well as investments in green infrastructure. Gardens in our homes, balconies, and rooftops not only make our city green but will improve the health and well-being of people and address climate change issues. Covid-19 recovery plans offer a great chance to scale up nature-based solutions in cities in ways that protect, conserve, and restore our ecosystems and the services they provide. If I could talk to others about this problem and realistic, doable solutions, we could learn from each other.
Recently, the role of youth in the development of Bangladesh has been acknowledged significantly. However, there is no established platform at the government level where youth from all walks of life could go, share thoughts and contribute to the development of the country from their place. My message is to build an inclusive platform where youth will have regular interactions with policymakers.
Abdullah Eusuf Shishir
Dept. of Urban and Regional Planning, Jahangirnagar University
Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100 is a commitment for the future and for sustainability. A guideline for the coming plans and policies that will ensure the continuous progress in coming years. We take pride in our participation in Youth Action Track. All economic and spatial plans and policies should be aligned with the goals of BDP2100. Thus practitioners, policy makers and students should be given priority and opportunity to participate, so as to increase trust and transparency on BDP 2100.
Md. Arif Chowdhury
Lecturer, Department of Climate and Disaster Management
Jashore University of Science and Technology
Every year, people are facing extreme effects of disasters on their life and livelihood, while income sources are damaged due to the change in climatic variables like temperature, and rainfall. To cope with the poverty and changing climatic scenarios, people are trying to involve themselves in different kinds of occupations or in some cases small-scale businesses. Besides, all over the world, different actions regarding business are facilitated under the climate change scenarios, while climate-friendly business plans should be initiated. Also, to improve the strength of vulnerable communities, it is highly important to ensure the engagement of youths in income generation activities, which will help to improve the socio-economic condition and decision-making aspects.
What modern technologies and adaptive approaches including nature-based solutions can be taken for the future with climate change in consideration or what model can we follow to improve river management in BDP 2100? How can youth be integrated in the process?
The National Delta plan should prioritize Nature-based solutions in river and flood management over other technical measures and youth can be involved in implementing, monitoring and disseminating the policy to the local community. The socio-economic balance and development of the community can be assessed through youth and it will be easy to prioritize the plans and implementation programs. Local technologies should be encouraged and regulated in small-scale projects. In many projects, there were some pilot strategies undertaken like Bamboo bandals to protect river-bank erosion, Jute mattress-based embankment slope protection, Vetiver plantation, building cross dams by auto dredging every flood season and dredging to improve navigation. These schemes should be regulated and monitored more efficiently and an NBS database or forms can be created to assess the advantages for the future and youth can be a huge resource in the process.
University of Dhaka
To make sure that Bangladesh properly utilizes its demographic dividend, there is no alternative to giving the stage to youths from all communities so that they can voice their needs as an active agent of change – a change that is very much needed to achieve a prosperous, resilient delta that leaves no one behind.
Md. Saiful Islam
The engagement of young people in Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100 (BDP2100) is crucial to raising awareness and making changes to youth-related issues and demanding change. It recognizes that young people play active roles as agents of positive and constructive change and helps them to achieve BDP2100.
The future of Bangladesh and our planet lies in our hands. It also lies in the hands of today’s younger generation who will pass the torch to future generations. We are the youth who are looking forward to the proper development and progress, which will be for all of us to ensure and make an easier and more successful journey on BDP2100.
Md Amzad Hossain
Program Officer, Youth Mobilization Unit
The Hunger Project Bangladesh
I express my sincere gratitude to all of our BDP2100-YAT members for their immense contribution to the knowledge cooperation and support for capacity building of youth to the implementation of BDP2100. I have come to realize from the journey with BDP2100- Youth Action Track that the BDP2100 is a gift from our current generation to future generations. And this dream will come true when the full spectrum of young people of Bangladesh is included. There is a need to mainstream inclusive youth participation: impoverished young people, gender minorities, young people with disabilities, refugees, ethnic minorities and others in the policy and climate action landscape.
Dr. Md Wasif E Elahi
Independent researcher and Casual Academic
University of New South Wales, Canberra, Australia
Youth is the future of our country. They are already involved in different activities at different levels for the development of Bangladesh. As BDP-2100 is one of the detailed plans for the future generation by the Government of Bangladesh, the young generation should be involved in different activities of the BDP-2100. The Youth Action Track (YAT) is the first step to including youth in action and nourishing new ideas for the betterment. Like me, many young Bangladeshi researchers work on the Bangladesh delta in different fields worldwide. They would be more than happy to do something for beloved Bangladesh based on their expertise. I hope our policymakers and high officials will create more opportunities for youth to involve and contribute to different projects, including the BDP-2100.
French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS)
Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna The Delta is an incredibly dynamic region for its tectonic and geographic location. Subsidence is making this region more vulnerable and exposed to many natural disasters. It is found in previous studies that excessive ground-water extraction results in significant land subsidence in the megacities of Bangladesh. We must formulate a sustainable plan and execute it to reduce the anthropogenic impacts on land subsidence. BDP2100 is a revolutionary step taken by the government of Bangladesh with the collaboration of international (research) organizations. As stakeholders, we should each play our role individually to accomplish all the goals of BDP2100.
Originally this article was published on August 5, 2022 at Dhaka Tribune.
Climate Tribune Desk